“I Love What You Hate.”? No, You Don’t.

Ignore the punctuation problems there, because I am.

As a gamer/game nerd/whatever-term-I-want-to-call-myself-to-acknowledge-that-yes-I-play-a-lot-of-games-but-no-I-don’t-identify-with-nerd/gamer-culture, I read some of the more popular game blogs.  Yeah, I know I shouldn’t, but oh well.  There are only so many boring hours at work I can fill with actually doing work, so sometimes I browse.

Of these, Destructoid has pretty much always been the worst, whether it be the annoying attempts by Jim Sterling to say anything funny or intelligent (often failing spectacularly at both), or just the general odd aura of “nerd bro” that seems intrinsic to the site.  But sometimes, even they surprise me.

In particular, their “Promoted Blogs” feature surprises me, and not in a good way.

The basic goal is admirable enough, in that the site lets users post their own blogs, and if someone that actually gets paid to work there (probably pretty minimally, this being games journalism) likes the user blog enough, they get promoted up to the big leagues of the Dtoid front page.

Sometimes, that gets you this piece of crap.

There is so much wrong with this article.  It starts right away, as the author (RenegadePanda.  Really? Going with that as your handle?) in the title wants to do the thing all nerds love to do (self-awareness moment: Yes, even me.) and declare himself an outsider, someone who “loves what you hate”.

How does he know what you hate?  Basically, he looks at Metacritic, and assumes game review scores indicate how everybody (except RenegadePanda! OUTSIDER!) feels about that game.  The rest of this article is then him just listing games he likes that he thinks are universally loathed.

One big problem is that a lot of the games “you hate” aren’t really games you hate.

In particular, he picks on Bullet Witch, a game by now-sadly-gone Cavia, which did score low on Metacritic, but damned if I haven’t met a ton of people with a love for it.  He also throws in mention of Nier, another Cavia game that I and a lot of people hold in really high regard.  In the comments, he mentions Robot Alchemic Drive, a game that a very certain sector of people (yup, me too) really like.

There are some genuine (at least from everything I have ever seen) stinkers on his list, sure. The problem is that he never gets around to analyzing these at all, merely saying “Oh aren’t I sooooooo weeeeiiird and zany for liking these???!?!?!”.  Instead, while simultaneously patting himself on the back for ignoring what other people think of the games, he admits he only plays them because other people think they are bad.

Wait, what?

I wish there was some way I could get him to understand what a silly way to judge games this is, and  that he can enjoy the games he enjoys, whether or not a reviewer thinks they are good.  Reviews are purchasing guides for people who don’t want to risk money on something without learning a bit about it first, and that is fine.  But they really shouldn’t affect how you feel about your own preferences.  This isn’t really that difficult.

However, in an era when company bonuses are based on Metacritic scores, and people get into comment-posting wars over something getting an 8.5 instead of a 9.5, I shouldn’t really be surprised at this.

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